It was around 1900 that F.W. Taylor developed what are commonly known as the Principles of Scientific Management which till today form the basis for designing jobs in most organizations. The traditional job design of scientific management focuses mostly on division of labor, hierarchy, close supervision and the one best way of doing work. This, no doubt, has brought several benefits to society but its disadvantage has been its high human cost. The highly specialized jobs have made workers socially isolated from their fellow workers, weakened their community of interest in the whole product and deskilled them to such an extent that workers have lost pride in their work. The system of hierarchy has made workers totally dependent upon their superiors. It is always the superior and not his subordinates who initiates actions and controls the working environment. Close supervision further accentuates workers dependence on their superiors. The result is high turnover and absenteeism. Quality declines and workers become alienated.
Workers are becoming more and more educated; skilled, affluent and unionized the above dysfunctional consequences of work are becoming less and less acceptable. It is no longer possible to design jobs solely according to the needs of technology completely overlooking the needs of workers. The jobs need to be excellent both from the point of view of technology and human needs. The traditional job design needs to be replaced by enriched job design. This demand for redesigning of jobs has come to be known as quality of work life. It enjoins management to treat workers as human resources that are to be developed rather than simply used.
The scope of QWL movement which originally included only job redesign efforts based on the socio-technical systems approach has gradually widened very much so as the include a wide variety of interventions such as quality circles, suggestion schemes, employee participation, empowerment, autonomous work teams etc. Interventions vary in each case the common elements in all these interventions seem to be as under.
Tags: Importance of quality work life, Advantages of quality of work life, Quality work life in the present situation
[...] (ii)Work redesign Work redesign can be an effective tool for improving both the quality of work experience of employees and their on-the-job- productivity. Work redesign refers to any activities that involve the alteration of specific jobs with the intent of increasing both quality of work experience of the employees and their productivity. It includes such terms such as job rotation, job enrichment, and socio-technological systems design. There are certain things which most work design experiments have in common. Typical changes are made that provide employees with additional responsibilities for planning, setting up and checking their own work, making decisions about methods and procedures; establishing their own pace within broad limits; and relating directly to the client who receives the results of the work. [...]
[...] Further, today's workforce is realizing the importance of relationships and is trying to strike a balance between career and personal lives. Successful organizations support and provide facilities to their people to help them to balance the scales. In this process, organizations are coming up with new and innovative ideas to improve the quality of work and quality of work life of every individual in the organization. Various programs like flex time, alternative work schedules, compressed work weeks, telecommuting etc., are being adopted by these organizations. [...]
[...] For some employees who have rated QWL as monotonous, employee involvement in decision-making can bring about change in their attitudes and more attention can be stressed on their development and growth The management should increase the frequency of training for improving the communication skills with periodical review For bringing about a positive personal change the employees should be imparted more out bound training as it improve not only their communication skills but will complement in achieving the organization goals with increased productivity Initiate the process of building teams so that interpersonal relationships and skills are enhanced Functioning of the grievance and redressed unit should be overhaul so that more number of employees can get their problems redressed To motivate the employees the management and employee consensus and award and reward system should be given more priority as employee sense a feel of belongingness to the organization In redesigning the job, all the team members, team leaders should be involved by the top management to evolve a consensus The employees are comfortable with their existing work schedule but there is no flexibility in selecting the work schedule of their choice except in their own departments. [...]
[...] This is a complex problem, however, because it is difficult to isolate and identify all of the attributes, which affect the quality of working life.-Richard E. Walton The sustained vitality and profitability of any company is clearly linked to the satisfaction of its workforce. This is intuitively obvious, and the research is compelling. A company that does not measure and improve employee satisfaction may quickly face increasing turnover, declining productivity from people that remain, and a limited ability to attract and retain qualified replacements. [...]
[...] HR FOCUS: PRIVATE SECTOR Quality of work life refers to the relationship between a worker and his environment, adding the human dimension to the technical and economic dimensions within which the work is normally viewed and designed. It could be defined as quality of the content of the relationship between the man and his task.' Thus, quality of work life is the degree of excellence brought about work and working condition which contributes to the overall satisfaction and performance, primarily at the individual level but finally at the organizational level. [...]
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